Climate Activists: Are You Stuck Fighting the Dominant Narratives?

2020-07-30T15:04:52+00:00July 30th, 2020|Climate Communications, Climate politics, Climate Strategy, Environmental Messaging|

We Need to Pivot to Our Own.   I am giving testimony to an administrative law judge on the impact of climate change on Minnesota crops, and why we shouldn’t allow a dirty tar sands pipeline to be built in our state. There are three hundred people in the [...]

This One Key Element In Your Climate Message Can Change the World

2020-06-22T21:09:50+00:00June 22nd, 2020|Climate Communications, Climate Strategy, Environmental Messaging|

I am heading west. The land is brushed with a thousand shades of khaki and rust. As I rise up out of the Missouri breaks, the sun slides under a reef of clouds and lights the horizon for a thousand miles. Hawks stand witness as they sit on fence [...]

The Language of this Moment in the Streets Will Cause Us to Succeed or Fail

2020-06-20T15:30:16+00:00June 11th, 2020|Climate Communications, Climate politics, Climate Strategy, Environmental Messaging|

Black Lives Matter! I can't breathe. George Floyd. No justice/no peace. Defund the police. Protestors. Looters. Riots. Law and order. Activism is not terrorism. Movements and causes rise and fall based on the language they use. Not only the current events, but the climate and environmental movements as well. [...]

How to Counter False Choice Frames About Climate or COVID-19

2020-05-26T15:22:02+00:00May 25th, 2020|Climate Communications, Environmental Messaging, Green New Deal|

"Do you want to eat your peas with a fork or a knife?" is a well known false choice that parents use with kids. In either choice, hopefully, they will eat their peas. False choices are a particular type of frame. They are used a lot with both climate [...]

Crows Explain Why the Death Toll In Trump’s Pandemic Doesn’t Matter

2020-05-17T17:39:37+00:00May 16th, 2020|Climate Communications, Environmental Messaging|

The death toll does matter, but I want to tell you a story. When I was a kid, my father stopped to get gas at a country station. I saw an old man sitting in the shade outside. He was dressed in a torn hunting vest and ragged clothes. [...]

What Is Your Vision for a Better Climate Future?

2020-04-29T16:35:19+00:00April 28th, 2020|Climate Communications, Climate Strategy, Environmental Messaging|

I am captivated by maps. They possess some magical pull on my imagination. Names take on a mystical significance with the rhythm of their syllables; the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kyoto and the Cauca. This could just be a romantic reflection, but I am curious about our human attraction to horizons. [...]

What Can We Message About Climate Now?

2020-04-18T21:02:08+00:00April 18th, 2020|Climate Communications, Climate Strategy, Environmental Messaging|

As climate communicators, we are all struggling with three main questions during the pandemic. The first is when is an appropriate time to restart our messaging. The second is what messages work best during these times. The third is which audience targets yield the biggest benefits. A number of [...]

Climate Communicators – Be Careful of the Economic Narrative

2020-04-15T22:24:21+00:00April 15th, 2020|Climate Communications, Framing, Green New Deal|

I’d just finished giving testimony to an administrative law judge on why a new dirty tar sands pipeline was a bad idea. It is the climate equivalent of putting 40 black smoking coal plants in my state. There was a group of Union Local 49 guys in yellow t-shirts [...]

Focus on Differences Between the Pandemic and the Climate Crisis

2020-04-13T17:16:20+00:00April 13th, 2020|Actions You Can Take, Climate Communications, Climate Strategy, Environmental Messaging|

Remember when some kid told you that tennis balls had poison gas in them, and if you cut them open you would die? This became a widespread belief, or credo among my childhood friends. A credo may have some elements of truth, or sound true, or it can be [...]

The Bad Framing of the “People’s Bailout Campaign”

2020-04-02T17:40:08+00:00April 2nd, 2020|Climate Communications, Framing|

As communicators, we know words matter. They influence whether we are attracting people to a new idea or unconsciously turning them off. Naming the “People’s Bailout Campaign," by a coalition of groups, is one example where we could have done better with our words. Why? Because the campaign name [...]

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